Dear Yo! Broker,
I recently read where a black guy went to an open house and saw a KKK application in the bedroom. It turns out the house belonged to a cop who was later fired when the word got out.
Hey I’m no KKK member but I am having an open house and do have some stuff on the walls. Can people bust me?
I have to tell you, many years ago our house in Michigan was for sale and the realtor advised my mother to take our family photos off the wall – so buyers wouldn’t know African Americans lived in the house.
I’m no expert on free speech issues, but as a real estate broker, I will tell you that when you show a house some things should be taken down – and some things like family photos should stay up and will probably work in your favor – no matter how weird your family.
However, please know that if you have something illegal – like a garage conversion or illegal guest house, someone might complain and the city may send out an investigator. As you can guess, there are great reasons to have an open house – and good reasons not to have an open house.
Got an unusual real estate question? e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winston Cenac is the owner of Bulldog Realtors, a boutique real estate brokerage with 90 agents and offices in Venice, Santa Monica and West Adams.